|In November 21, 2018, file photo, a man walks past a Dolce&Gabbana store in Beijing, China. — Photo denverpost.com|Viet Nam News
BEIJING — Don’t mess with China and its growing cadre of powerful luxury consumers.
Dolce&Gabbana learned that lesson the hard way when it faced a boycott after Chinese expressed outrage over what were seen as culturally insensitive videos promoting a major runway show in Shanghai and subsequent posts of insulting comments in a private Instagram chat.
The company blamed hackers for the anti-Chinese insults, but the explanation felt flat to many and the damage was done. The Milan designers canceled the Shanghai runway show, meant as a tribute to China, as their guest list of Asian celebrities quickly joined the protests.
Then, as retailers pulled their merchandise from shelves and powerful e-commerce sites deleted their wares, co-founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana went on camera — dwarfed against the larger backdrop of an ornate red wall-covering — to apologise to the Chinese people.
“We will never forget this experience, and it will definitely never happen again,” a solemn-looking Gabbana said in a video statement posted on Friday on social media. — AP